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Dan's Review: "Keeping Up With The Joneses" good enough for a date movie

Oct 20, 2016 10:56PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm in Keeping Up with the Joneses - © 2016 20th Century Fox.

Keeping Up With The Joneses (20th Century Fox)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, action/violence and brief strong language.

Starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot, Maribeth Monroe, Michael Liu, Matt Walsh, Ari Shaffir, Patton Oswalt, Kevin Dunn, Jona Xiao.

Written by Michael LeSieur.

Directed by Greg Mottola.

GRADE: B

REVIEW:

Whatever happened to the “date movie?” I’m not talking about singles dates, but the kind you can watch with your spouse, forget about life for a while, leave the kids ate home, have a few laughs and then forget most of what you just saw. Some date movies are kind of pathetic, pandering to the clichés of married life and parenthood, while others offer a little light-hearted escapism. Keeping Up With The Joneses might be just what the doctor ordered for couples looking to get away from abhorrent politics, death, destruction and mayhem in the world (and some of the stuff outside the home, hehe).

Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher play Jeff and Karen Gaffney, a nice couple living a good life in the suburbs. While their kids are away at camp, Tim and Natalie Jones (John Hamm and Gal Gadot) move into their quiet cul-de-sac. Karen is immediately suspicious of the Joneses, who seem a little too perfect for suburban life. Her fears are validated when she discovers that the new couple is indeed a spy team, targeting a spy ring inside Jeff’s defense contractor company, where he works as an HR manager. Life for the Gaffneys turns upside-down when they are thrown into the middle of the spy chase, and they must quickly adapt or face certain death.

Keeping Up With The Joneses isn’t brilliant or clever. You can pretty much guess exactly what’s going to happen in every scene. The suburban espionage plot device has been worn out in several similar films (Knight and Day, Killers, This Means War, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, True Lies, etc.), many of which you couldn’t remember if you tried.

One thing that you will find memorable about Keeping Up With The Joneses is the chemistry and comic timing between the leading ensemble. Galifianakis plays the nerdy everyman to perfection, complimented by Isla Fisher’s spunk and genuine morality. The real standout is Gal Gadot, who is the coolest of all characters in the movie (and she’s obviously stunning, too).

So, if you want to get away with your spouse and have a fun date night, go and see Keeping Up With The Joneses. You won’t experience much art, but you can be entertained.

 

Keeping Up With The Joneses Trailer

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